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West Cornwall – is it likely that all of our hedgehogs are hibernating now?

Home Forums Champions’ chat West Cornwall – is it likely that all of our hedgehogs are hibernating now?

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    Just wondering whether it’s likely that all of our hedgehogs are now tucked up and hibernating this far West? We have had a long bout of wet weather in Sept and most of Oct apart from last week when it was colder and brighter for just 4 days. Mostly it has rained and is wild and windy and wet again this week. We are right by the coast here and rarely get frosts, so is it likely that the hedgehogs are still roaming around?

    I ask because I now have 2 boxes set up for sleeping front and back but don’t believe anyone is in them (not checking for fear of disturbing any but one is a new one and doubt anyone in that and the other one had a quick peep and looks unoccupied). I carried on feeding at the back having moved the food out of the igloo but nearby under cover, and it’s being eaten sometimes, but no idea now if it’s a hog, or something else as it’s protected from rain but not all animals. the food out the front was eaten a couple of times but again I don’t know if it was a hedgehog. Presumably dry food could be eaten by squirrel, rat or cat? We did see some hedgehog poo about a week ago, but none since, and wondering if our hedgehog which was around last month and part of this month has now moved off.

    How long should I leave food out for? Not knowing if they are hibernating and not needing it though I believe they get up from time to time?

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    Hi Aggie

    Sometimes it take a while before hogs will take to new houses, so don’t be too worried if one doesn’t move straight in. At least they will be there is a hog decides to move house later on. I wouldn’t move them around if they don’t immediately get used – give the hogs a chance to get used to them being there. If you want to find out whether any hogs are going in or out without disturbing them, you could put a small twig, piece of straw or ball of paper, or similar, in the doorway and see if it gets moved.

    Re. feeding, you might find the following information useful


    Thank you Nic!
    Some exciting news from the far West! I have discovered now via our neighbours who also have been feeding the hedgehog that in fact we are definitely feeding TWO hedgehogs at least, as last night they were able to borrow a video camera and set it up and it took a pic of them. I am so thrilled as also it confirms that they are still up and around and feeding here.

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    Hi Aggie

    That’s brilliant news! Fingers crossed for even more hogs next year. Not all hogs hibernate, so it’s possible they might decide not to. I would keep feeding until a while after you are sure they’ve all disappeared, if they do.

    Good luck


    Oh I didn’t realise that not all hogs hibernated, but I guess that if it’s a mild winter, and down where we are there is rarely any frost, they may not need to.

    I may well buy one of those underbed storage boxes turned upside down suggested here – I have now seen for sale, as long as I can get my neighbour to help with cutting a hole for the hogs to get in. At least then I can be pretty sure that the food is not touched by other larger animals, and apparently this is how my neighbours feed theirs.

    I am not sure what you cut the plastic with – are there some instructions on here please? Also re sizing of hole?

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    Hi Aggie

    Sorry, not much good at DIY so not sure what you would cut the plastic with, but hopefully your neighbour will know.

    Sizes of holes vary from CD size down to – one person had a door sized 10.5cm across and 9cm. high and apparently it was pretty successful at keeping cats out. It was though in a wooden box. Don’t forget to put tape (i.e. duck tape, or the like) around the entrance, so there are no sharp edges.

    I have a feeling that it’s mostly hoglets that decide not to hibernate (those are the ones I have mostly heard about, anyway) but it will be interesting to hear whether those there do or not.

    Good luck with the new feed box.


    My first winter as a Champion and my regular visitor appears to have stopped visiting 🙁 My hog house is also unused but didn’t realise that not all hibernate so am continuing to feed 🙂

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    Hi EmmaP

    It is a minority who don’t hibernate, and most of the ones I’ve heard about have been hoglets. But the really important thing is to leave water available all winter in case, because they do sometimes emerge for short periods of time during hibernation as well. They’ve even been known to build new hibernation nests, so leaving lots of leaves and other suitable materials around is also a good idea.


    Thanks Nic

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    My pleasure. Fingers crossed for a successful hibernation for all the hogs.



    Our hog is still active, food all gone every morning and signs of fresh straw around the entrance to her house. Might be more than one still eating, as the hole in our gate is open for them at night. Still not that cold here in west Cornwall, just very, very wet. Last year the one we had living in our garden didn’t go into hibernation until mid December. Also fresh poo still appearing. We don’t get much frost or snow down here, too near the sea.


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